Latest Blog Posts

by John Bergstrom

3 Feb 2012


Back in 2004, the Washington, DC-based indie band Cartel generated a lot of buzz with the moody, Echo & the Bunnymen-esque “Fleets”. Then, they discovered a rock band from Georgia had dibs on the Cartel name. So, Cartel became the Cedars. They released an excellent EP, Another Season, in 2007. Rightly figuring that if such a strong, Coldplay-if-Coldplay-was-three-times-better effort wouldn’t get them a proper record deal, nothing would, they split.

Now, they are back, under the name Ms. Director, with a seven-track EP, Santo Domingo. The overall sound hasn’t changed much, and that’s a good thing. The guitars and keyboards are a bit more hazy, but the muscular rhythm section and Brian Leatherman’s beguiling voice hold it all down. Let’s hope the third name is the charm. Have a listen to Santo Domingo via Bandcamp, and download it there or from iTunes.

 

by Marisa Carroll

2 Feb 2012


A feather-light, engaging documentary, Love Etc. charts the evolutions of five romantic relationships in New York over the course of a year. Director Jill Andresevic selected a cross section of lovers from three boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens) in various stages of their lives, all affable and all inclined to colorful self-expression. The film—which premieres on Oprah’s OWN Documentary Club on 2 February—features interviews shot in the subjects’ homes. As they discuss their pleasures and challenges. In other situations, they’re liable to perform a bit for the camera. They tell stories of ups and downs, though we don’t see anything too ugly or upsetting. With more than 500 hours of footage, it seems unlikely that none of it captured a difficult moment, so one can’t help wondering whether or why Andresevic chose not to include them.

See PopMattersreview.

by Sachyn Mital

2 Feb 2012


On January 17th, Nneka previewed a few of her new songs in New York’s tiny club, Cielo. The line was long to get in when the doors opened for the free show since the bouncers were strict about checking coats. It even creating some difficulty for Nneka and her friends but it wasn’t long after that she began her short, intimate performance.

Shortly after, she announced a proper US tour to support the US release of her latest album, Soul is Heavy out at the end of February.

by Philip Majorins

2 Feb 2012


Noah and the Megafauna are an L.A. based band whose recent album Anthems for a Stateless Nation brings together both gypsy jazz and modern influences. Their sound is stamped with jazz influences that blend into folk flamenco fusion, usually sounded in a minor key. Familiar rock melodies are accompanied by gypsy guitars, passionate vocal phrasing, horns, and a swinging rhythm section. Obvious comparisons to Django Reinhardt will be made, but their musical ethos is also reminiscent of bands like the Dustbowl Revival, Beirut, or Devotchka.

This video for “Liquid Modernity (You Can Never Go Home)” was recently premiered on KCRW Music Blog. It was directed by Travis Knight and features the muted colors and choreography of a bygone era. Anthems for a Stateless Nation is a concept album that succeeds at communicating the displacement felt underneath the cynicism of the Occupy generation. However, this cabaret for the apocalypse still qualifies as fun cerebral pop.  The video represents just that kind of tongue-in-cheek in the face of impending doom.

by Jane Jansen Seymour

2 Feb 2012


New Build was created as a “drop-in centre for friends” as the London-based group told Mixmag last fall. Al Doyle (of Hot Chip and formerly LCD Soundsystem) and Felix Martin (Hot Chip) joined forces with studio producer Tom Hopkins, along with Pat Mahoney of LCD Soundsystem occasionally joining in. The band has released four songs from the upcoming album, Yesterday Was Lived and Lost (due 5 March), on soundcloud.com for consumption. The tracks are filled with the buoyant dance music expected from these solid synthpop/indietronica types. Before kicking into movement-oriented grooves, the session begins with the ethereal intro of “Do You Not Feel Loved?” Multi-layered world music rhythms of “Mercy” features synth solos in between melodic verses. “Finding Reasons” brings in the steel drum of many Hot Chip songs, capping off a slower tune of vocal harmonies and fuzzy guitar. “Misery Loves Company” presents a confident stride and crooning similar to Bryan Ferry’s Roxy Music, calling us all to ruin.

Steady as I start to loose control
It’s not good for the body, but it’s good for the soul

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Bubblegum Noir of ‘2064: Read Only Memories’

// Moving Pixels

"Read Only Memories is a bubblegum-happy, brooding and brutal noir about kidnapping, murder, corruption, revenge, and corporate conspiracies.

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